Shillong: Meghalaya celebrated its 120th Seng Kut Snem Festival on Saturday. The vibrant festival saw scores of people from the Khasi tribe taking part in traditional rituals and practices.
The festival kicked off with a procession which started off from Madan Iewrynghep and culminated at the Weiking Ground in Shillong. Tableaux depicting various facets of the simple yet rich and colorful indigenous life of the tribal people were one of the major attractions of the festival.
As the chief guest, NEHU vice-chancellor Professor SK Srivastava arrived at Weiking Ground, where the festival began with the senior members of the Seng Khasi offering prayers.
Hima Khyrim chief Balajied Syiem was also present on the occasion.
The annual Seng Kut Snem festival is celebrated to commemorate the Seng Khasi Movement to preserve, protect and uphold indigenous Khasi culture.
On August 23, 1899, 16 brave and nationalist Khasi youths formed the Seng Khasi to protect their indigenous religion, rich culture and unique language in the face of British onslaught. Since then, the movement has gained momentum imbibing a sense of pride in the Khasi youths in their rich heritage which is unique in the world.
Srivastava paid his tributes to the leaders of the Seng Khasi and was impressed with the diverse culture of the indigenous tribe.
“It is indeed an honour and privilege to be part of this great event. I pay my deep respects to those elders who founded the Seng Khasi. It has been a great learning experience for me, learning about this indigenous religion which is part of the beautiful rainbow that our country has, different colours, they present different cultures, religion, faith , different food habits languages and all that,” said Srivastava.
“When I was learning about this festival, what caught my attention was the flag. I checked it on the Internet what this flag symbolises. It was motivating and captivating for me to know the significance of the flag. As I learnt like a child that, when the whole world was dark, the rooster went in his beautiful attire to pray to the sun God to bring light and remove the darkness,” he added.
The vice-chancellor also gave a shot at speaking a few lines in Khasi during the event.